What Can You Do If You Hired the Wrong Attorney?
We get calls several times a week from people who have hired the wrong attorney.
When they call, they don’t really know that they have selected the wrong attorney. But after a few minutes of speaking with them, it’s obvious that they have chosen the wrong attorney.
Usually, the call starts out with the caller explaining that they were in a car accident. They’ll then go into how the other driver ran a red light, or the person behind them simply failed to stop and pushed them ahead into another car.
We start taking notes and listen as they explain the full circumstances of the crash. Then they move on to explain how they injured their back or injured their neck or broke a leg, or otherwise got seriously hurt.
We start looking at our calendar to give them a date to come in for an appointment or schedule a Zoom video conference to begin helping them with their injury claim. Then there’s a long pause. The caller gets really quiet for a few seconds, and then they sheepishly explain that they need an attorney just to handle their property damage claim.
You read that right. The caller wants an attorney to handle just the property damage claim.
When we point out that they were seriously injured and that we handle serious personal injury claims every day of the week and ask if we heard them right about not needing an attorney to handle their injury claim? The caller gets quieter and states that they already hired an attorney for their injury claim, but that the attorney they hired won’t handle their property damage claim.
That’s when we know it, and they know it: they hired the wrong attorney. Then they volunteer, that they saw an ad or billboard or liked the catchy name that the attorney used. Usually, it’s someone who calls themself “the hammer,” or is it “the screwdriver,” or has a funny commercial.
We’ve heard it all. The caller has fallen for an attorney who could care less about them and won’t lift a finger to help them with their property damage claim. What kind of an attorney wouldn’t help their client handle their property damage claim at the same time they’re helping with an injury claim for that client? Answer: the wrong attorney. Any way you cut it, it’s the wrong attorney.
Few attorneys will handle property damage claims where no one has been injured. There’s a good reason why. Typically, the amount of time the attorney would have to invest in making a recovery for the client will outweigh the compensation the attorney will receive for helping on the property damage case. That’s because, most of the time, attorneys work on a contingent fee basis.
But when we handle injury claims, and that’s what we do day in, and day out, we feel that as a courtesy and service to our clients, it only makes sense to assist them with the property damage claim. We wouldn’t think of declining to help an injury client with their property damage claim. — Think about it: how would a trial with a separate attorney for each damage element even work? An attorney for your broken arm, another for your broken leg, yet another for your destroyed property?
When we hear this kind of story from a caller, we have to politely decline to speak to them anymore because they already have an attorney.
But here’s what we would like to tell them. — You hired the wrong attorney. — You need to fire that wrong attorney. Yeah, that’s right, fire them. If you fall for some slick song and dance or get hoodwinked by some slick advertising, you can discharge that attorney just like you can fire your doctor. Here’s a link to what you should be looking at before you hire an attorney. And here’s a hint: it has nothing to do with their billboard or their catchy phone number song, or whether they convinced you to hire them by calling themselves a tool. — Just fire ’em.